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Munro Genealogy and Munro Family History Information

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  • Andrew Mor Munro, 2nd of Milntown (b. - 1501)
    Andrew Mor Munro, 2nd of Milntown was succeeded by his eldest son, Andrew Beg Munro, 3rd of Milntown also known as Black Andrew. Perhaps the most famous of the Milntown line was Andrew Munro, 3rd of Mi...
  • Andrew Munro (b. - 1690)
  • Andrew Beg Munro, 3rd of Milntown (c.1474 - 1576)
    Andrew Mor Munro, 2nd of Milntown was succeeded by his eldest son, Andrew Beg Munro, 3rd of Milntown also known as Black Andrew. Perhaps the most famous of the Milntown line was Andrew Munro, 3rd of Mi...
  • Andrew Munro, 8th of Milntown (c.1619 - 1645)
    Andrew Munro, 8th of Milntown was the last of the family to possess the Milntown estate but he continued to dispute Mackenzie domination of the Black Isle. Andrew Munro served as a Capatain under his k...

About the Munro surname

From the Gaelic "Rothach" meaning "man from Ro." 2) From "bun" meaning 'mouth of' and "roe" meaning 'a river.' In Gaelic the 'b' often becomes an 'm' - hence the surname MUNRO.


The main theory as to the origin of the clan is that the Munros came from Ireland and settled in Scotland in the 11th century and that they fought as mercenary soldiers under the Earl of Ross who defeated Viking invaders in Rosshire. The clan under chief Donald Munro, son of O'Ceann were granted lands in Rosshire and a seat at Foulis Castle as a reward for helping King Malcolm II of Scotland to defeat Viking invaders from Scandinavia.[1]

The clan name, Munro which in Gaelic is Rothach, Roich, or Mac an Rothaich, means Ro - Man or Man from Ro. This supports the tradition that the clan was originally from the River Roe area in Ireland.[2]
Traditionally, Donald's grandson Hugh Munro was the first Munro recorded to be authentically designated Baron of Foulis, he died in 1126. A reliable scholar, Alexander Nisbet stated that George Munro, 5th Baron of Foulis received a charter from the Earl of Sutherland during the reign of Alexander II of Scotland, but this charter can no longer be traced.[1] The clan lands were on the north side of the Cromarty Firth and also contained the mountain Ben Wyvis and the Black Rock Gorge.

During the Wars of Scottish Independence chief Robert Munro, 6th Baron of Foulis led the clan in support of King Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Robert Munro survived the battle but his son George was killed. George however had a son of his own before he died also called George. This George Munro succeeded his grandfather Robert as chief and led the clan at the Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333 where he died.[3]

Chief 'Robert de Munro' is the first chief of the clan to be recorded by contemporary evidence.[4] He was married to a relative of the Earl of Ross and had many charters confirmed to him under King David II of Scotland including one for the "Tower of Strathskehech" and "Estirfowlys" in 1350. Robert was killed in an obscure skirmish fighting in defence of Uilleam III, Earl of Ross in 1369. His son Hugh Munro was also granted many charters including one in respect of the "Tower of Strathschech" and "Wesstir Fowlys" from Euphemia I, Countess of Ross in 1394.[3]

In 1411 a major feud broke out between Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany and Domhnall of Islay, Lord of the Isles over the Earldom of Ross. This resulted in the Battle of Harlaw where chief Hugh Munro, 9th Baron of Foulis rose up in support of the Lord of the Isles whose son became the Earl of Ross through marriage. The Munros are said to have fought in the Lord of the Isles 'host' against an army of Scottish Lowlanders led by Alexander Stewart, Earl of Mar.[3][5] In 1428 a group of Munros were granted remission by King James I of Scotland for past offences when he came to Inverness to assert his authority in the Highlands.[3]

In 1452 a rebellion broke out by a force of tribes loyal to Mackenzie of Kintail who had taken hostage the Earl of Ross's nephew. This resulted in the Battle of Bealach nam Broig, fought north-west of Ben Wyvis where the Munros and Dingwalls rescued the Ross hostage and exterminated their enemies but with the loss of their chiefs, George Munro of Foulis and William Dingwall of Kildun.[6] Two years later in 1454 John Munro, 1st of Milntown, uncle of the next chief led the Clan Munro on a raid into Perthshire, on their return they were ambushed by the Clan Mackintosh which resulted in the Battle of Clachnaharry.[7]
In 1491 a document was signed and sealed at the Munros' Foulis Castle, reading in Gaelic: caisteal biorach, nead na h-iolair meaning castle gaunt-peaked, the eagle's nest. In allusion to the chief's heraldic emblem.[8] In 1495 King James of Scotland assembled an army at Glasgow and many of the Highland chiefs made their submissions to him, including the Munro and Mackenzie chiefs. Later in 1497 MacDonald of Lochalsh rebelled against the king, invading the lands of Ross-shire where he was defeated at the Battle of Drumchatt by the Munros and Mackenzies.[9] This version of events is recorded by early 19th century historian Donald Gregory and is accepted by modern historians,[10][11] although late 19th century historian Alexander Mackenzie disputes the Munros' presence at the battle and says instead that the Munros and Mackenzies fought eachother at Drumchatt in 1501.[12]

In 1500, the Munros of Milntown began construction of Milntown Castle, although it was opposed by the Rosses for being too close to their Balnagowan Castle.[13] In the early 16th century a rebellion broke out by Domhnall Dubh, chief of Clan MacDonald against the king. The MacDonalds were no longer Lords of the Isles or Earls of Ross. A commission was given to the Earl of Huntly, the Lord Lovat, and William Munro of Fowlis to proceed to Lochaber against the rebels. The Camerons supported the rebel Domhnall Dubh. Sir William Munro of Foulis was sent to Lochaber on the King's business and was killed in an engagement between the Camerons and MacKays at a place called Achnashellach in 1505.[14] It is Clan Cameron tradition that they defeated a joint force of Munros and Mackays at the Battle of Achnashellach in 1505.[15] Domhnall Dubh was captured in 1506 and Ewen Cameron was later executed.

In 1527, 30 of April, A bond of friendship was signed at Inverness between: Chief Hector Munro of Foulis; John Campbell of Cawdor, the Knight of Calder; Hector Mackintosh of Mackintosh, Chief of Clan Mackintosh, captain of Clanchatten; Hugh Rose of Kilravock, Chief of Clan Rose; and "Donald Ilis of Sleat".[16] In 1529 a charter was signed between chief Hector Munro, 13th Baron of Foulis and Lord Fraser of Lovat to assist and defend each other.[17]
In 1544 Robert Munro, 14th Baron of Foulis, signed a bond of kindess and alliance with the chief of Clan Ross of Balnagowan.[18] In 1547 the English led by Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset invaded Scotland which resulted in the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh where chief Robert Munro, 14th Baron of Foulis died fighting at the last major battle between the Royal Scottish and Royal English armies.[5] In 1549, Donald Monro, Dean of the Isles, visited Finlaggan Castle, seat of the chiefs of Clan Donald.[19][20]
Robert Mor Munro, 15th Baron of Foulis was a staunch supporter and faithful friend of Mary, Queen of Scots, and consequently was treated favourably by her son James VI of Scotland. When Mary went to Inverness Castle in 1562 the gates of the castle were shut against her. The Frasers and Munros, esteemed the most valiant clans in the north took the castle for the Queen.[21]
Between 1569 and 1573 Andrew Munro, 5th of Milntown defended and held, for three years, the Castle Chanonry of Ross, which he had received from the Regent Moray who died in 1569, against the Clan MacKenzie, at the expense of many lives on both sides. The feud was settled when the castle was handed over to the Mackenzies because they had obtained the right to own the castle.[22][23] In 1587, Foulis Castles', "tower and fortalice" are mentioned in a charter from the Crown.[8] In 1597 the Battle of Logiebride took place between clansmen from the Clan Munro and Clan Bane against clansmen from the Clan Mackenzie.[24]
[edit] 17th Century [edit] Thirty Years' War During the early 17th century the Munros continued their strong military traditions, fighting in the continental Thirty Years' War where Robert Munro, 18th Baron of Foulis, known as the Black Baron and 700 members of Clan Munro joined the army of Gustavs Adolphus, in defence of Protestantism in Scandinavia along with many men from the Clan Mackay. Taking a more prominent role was the Black Baron's cousin, General Robert Monro from the Obsdale branch of the clan. Robert and his men served with distinction and received the name of the "Invincibles" in recognition of their prowess. There were twenty-seven field officers and eleven captains of the name of Munro in the Swedish army.[25]
[edit] Bishops' Wars and Civil War During the Bishops' Wars General Robert Monro of the Obsdale branch of the clan laid siege to and took Spynie Palace, Drum Castle and Huntly Castle. From 1642 to 1648 he commanded the Scottish Covenanter army in Ireland during Irish Confederate Wars[25][26] There were several Munro officers in regiments that fought on the covenanter side at the Battle of Philiphaugh in 1645.[4]
Sir George Munro, 1st of Newmore who fought in Ireland as a covenanter later became a royalist after his uncle, Robert Monro was imprisoned by Cromwell in 1648. In September of that year George Munro and his men defeated the advance forces of Archibald Campbell, 1st Marquess of Argyll at the Battle of Stirling (1648).[27][28] In 1649 Colonel John Munro of Lemlair, Colonel Hugh Fraser, Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty and Thomas Mackenzie of Pluscardine were all opposed to the authority of the current parliament. They took Inverness Castle, expelled the garrison and raised the fortifications. However, on the approach of the parliamentary forces led by General David Leslie, Lord Newark they retreated back into Ross-shire.[29] On hearing of this rising against Leslie, James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose, leader of royalist forces and his invading army of foreigners landed in Ross-shire, hoping for support from the clans. However, he was actually opposed by the Munros, Rosses and Sutherlands who then chose to support Leslie and the Scottish Argyll Covenanter Government. The Munros, led by John Munro of Lemlair and their allies completely defeated the invading army at the Battle of Carbisdale in 1650.[26][30][31] By 1651 the Scottish Covenantor Government had become disillusioned with the English parliament and supported the royalists instead. William Munroe was one of four Munroes captured at the Battle of Worcester and transported to America.[32] Sir Alexander Munro of Bearcrofts survived and escaped the battle at Worcester.[28][33]
The Restoration of Charles II took place in 1660. The then chief's brother, George Munro, 1st of Newmore commanded the king's forces in Scotland from 1674 to 1677,[34] In 1689 chief Sir John Munro, 4th Baronet was one of the Scottish representatives who approved the formal offer of the Scottish Crown to William of Orange and his Queen.[33] In the same year George Munro, 1st of Auchinbowie, son of Sir Alexander Munro of Bearcrofts commanded royalist forces that defeated the Jacobites at the Battle of Dunkeld.[33][35]
[edit] 18th century After Queen Elizabeth I of England died without an heir, King James VI of Scotland also became King of England in the Union of the Crowns in 1603. A century later in 1707 England and Scotland were officially united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.
[edit] Jacobite rising of 1715 William Mackenzie, 5th Earl of Seaforth led a force of 3000 men including the Clan Mackenzie, Clan MacDonald, Clan Mackinnon, Clan MacRae and Clan Chisholm. He was opposed by Colonel Sir Robert Munro, 6th Baronet of Foulis who had formed a camp at the Bridge of Alness with 600 men which also included men from the Clan Ross. Munro had sent many of his own men south to protect the lands of the Clan Forbes of Culloden from the Jacobites. Munro was soon joined by the Earl of Sutherland and the chief of Clan Mackay who both brought with them only a portion of their clans and expected support from the Clan Grant did not arrive. Seaforth's forces advanced on the Sutherland's camp who made a quick retreat to avoid contact with their more powerful foe. Soon afterwards a council of war was held between the two sides and the Sutherlanders and MacKays peacefully moved back north to their own territory, while much of the Ross's lands were ravaged and the Munros returned to find their lands plundered.[36][37]
The Mackenzie Jacobite garrison at Inverness surrendered to Fraser of Lovat upon the very day when the Battle of Sheriffmuir was fought and another Jacobite force was defeated at the Battle of Preston. After this Colonel Sir Robert Munro, 6th Baronet of Foulis marched into the town of Inverness with 400 Munros and took over control as governor from Fraser. Government troops soon arrived in Inverness and for some months the process of disarming the rebels went on, helped by a Munro detachment under George Munro, 1st of Culcairn.[20]
The clan rivalries which had erupted in rebellion were finding an outlet in local politics. Mackenzie's Earl of Seaforth title came to an end in 1716, and it was arranged that while the Clan Ross held the county seat the Munros would represent the Tain Burghs. Ross ascendancy was secure in Tain, and from 1716 to 1745 the Munros controlled Dingwall, with one of Robert Munro's brothers as provost, but not without two armed Munro "invasions" of the county town in 1721 and 1740, when opposing councillors were abducted to secure a favourable result (for the first incident Colonel Robert and his brother were fined £200 each, and after the second his parliamentary career came to an abrupt end with defeat at the 1741 election). Robert Munro, 5th Baronet's younger son, George Munro, 1st of Culcairn raised a detachment from his father's clan to fight at the Battle of Glen Shiel in 1719 where they defeated the Jacobites.[33][38]
[edit] Black Watch & war against France In 1725 six Independent Black Watch companies were formed. One of Munros, one of Frasers, one of Grants and three of Campbells. These companies were known by the name Am Freacadain Dubh, or Black Watch. By 1740 it had become the 43d Highland regiment and then the 42d Royal Highlanders. Sir Robert Munro was appointed lieutenant-colonel. Among the captains were his next brother, George Munro, 1st of Culcairn, and John Munro, 4th of Newmore promoted to be lieutenant-colonel in 1745. The surgeon of the regiment was Robert's younger brother, Dr Duncan Munro.[20]
Their first action came on 11 May 1745, at the Battle of Fontenoy. Allowed "their own way of fighting", each time they received the French fire Col. Sir Robert Munro ordered his men to "clap to the ground" while he himself, because of his corpulence, stood alone with the colours behind him. For the first time in a European battle they introduced a system of infantry tactics (alternatively firing and taking cover) that was not superseded. Springing up and closing with the enemy, they several times drove them back, and finished with a successful rear-guard action against French cavalry.[20][33][39]
[edit] Jacobite rising of 1745 In June 1745, a month after the battle of Fontenoy, Sir Robert Munro, 6th Baronet of Foulis was "rewarded" by an appointment to succeed General Ponsonby as Colonel of the English 37th Regiment of Foot. When the Jacobite Rising broke out, his friends in the Highlands hoped for his presence among them. One wrote that it would have been "the greatest service to His Majesty and the common cause", but it was not to be. The Munros supported the British government during the Jacobite uprisings.[39]
Chief Colonel Sir Robert Munro, 6th Baronet had been fighting at the second Battle of Falkirk (1746) when, by account of the rebels, the English 37th Regiment he was in command of ran away and he was surrounded and attacked by seven Cameron Jacobites, he killed at least two with his pike before being shot by a Jacobite commander with a pistol. The Jacobites wished to do special honour to their opponent: They buried Robert in the grave of Sir John de Graham who died at the first Battle of Falkirk (1298). The graves can be seen in Falkirk churchyard.[20][39]
Robert's son Sir Harry Munro, 7th Baronet who served as an officer in Loudon's Highlanders had been captured at the Battle of Prestonpans in September 1745. He returned home to find Foulis Castle had been partially destroyed by Jacobites after the Battle of Falkirk. A few months after Falkirk the Jacobites were finally defeated at the Battle of Culloden by government forces. After the rising was suppressed a Munro Independent Company under Harry continued to police the Highlands and was disbanded in 1748. Harry set about rebuilding the castle as it is today incorporating what he could of the original building which now appears as a mansion house built in a formal Georgian style rather than the defensive fort it once was.[38][39]
In 1754, Lieutenant Hector Munro, 8th of Novar was ordered to Badenoch to apprehend certain rebels in that district, with special instructions to apprehend John Dubh Cameron better known as "Sergent Mor" of Clan Cameron who he successfully captured.[40]
[edit] Later clansmen British Empire & Military Sir Hector Munro, 8th of Novar (1726–1805), Sir Thomas Munro, 1st Baronet of Linderits (1761 to 1827) and John Munro, 9th of Teaninich (b.1778) were Scottish Generals in the British Army who had great success in India. James Munro (VC) was a Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross during the Crimean War, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Science & Medicine Four direct generations, from the distinguished Auchinbowie-Bearcrofts branch of the clan: John Munro (surgeon), Alexander Monro (primus), Alexander Monro (secundus) and Alexander Monro (tertius) were professors of anatomy at Edinburgh University. From the Monro of Fyrish branch of the clan four generations occupied successively the position of (Principal) Physician of Bethlem Royal Hospital
Mountaineering Sir Hugh Munro, 4th Baronet of Linderits (1856–1919) was a founding member of the Scottish Mountaineering Club and produced the first scientific list of all the mountains in Scotland over 3000 ft.
[edit] Churchmen The Munros were also prominent members of the Scottish clergy in the north of Scotland. Donald Monro (Dean) was Dean of the Isles. Andrew Munro (d.1454) was Archdeacon of Ross and for a short time Bishop of Ross.[41] John Munro of Tain (d.1630) was a Presbyterian minister of Tain.[42]